Day 8: Busting loose - I'm your Huckleberry - CycleBlaze

July 12, 2016

Day 8: Busting loose

"The average man don't like trouble and danger."
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

Wooo-hooo! Today was the first day of sun. I dont mean occasional sun, but sun all day long with few clouds. Heck, even my saddle sore is gone!

I started just north of Minneapolis. Normally I dont like riding through cities. Too much traffic and I dont feel safe leaving my bike anywhere that I cant see it. But the weather made even riding through a city enjoyable.

I started on the bike path network and it was perfect....

The Trucker taking a rest by the river, basking in the sun.
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The underside of one of the many bridges that run through the city
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Down town Minneapolis
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Famous sign on the left in downtown Minneapolis. The bottle cap sign was put up in celebration of the end of prohibition.
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Things went well until I got to the middle of the city when a number of detours turned the simple to follow route into a kind of mess, routing wise. I went up hills and down hills all to avoid construction, then I got twisted around and all kerfuffled. I had a long way to go and I became more amd more frustrated. While I was riding in circles I notice a lite rail station and had an inspiration. I hopped on and rode abouts 5 miles to St Paul union station and out of routing hell.

This all led to a cool discovery, a bike shop in the amtrak station! They have only been there two months and I hope they do well. Very convienent for someone starting a tour there.

A bike shop right in the Amtrak station at St Paul! Cool.
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Bike shop in St. Paul train station
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From there things got a little chaotic. The route signs were often missing, or worse, routed me in a way that made no sense and seemed to double the distance. In fact this is another reason I dont like riding near cities. Routing. In Rural areas routing usually is smoother.

I was getting tired and just ready to get on a really busy road to finally get to Prescott when a woman cyclist stopped next to me.

"You dont want to take that road," she said. "I will show you a better way."

It was certainly more scenic buy felt much longer, with a lot of hills.

".....I tried prozac," she said as I tried to keep up, "but being on a bike is better so now I ride to stay sane,"

She was being very nice and even went a little out of her way, but I was a little grumpy because I was tired and hungry.

Still, I made it to Prescott safely and had about 10 miles to go to the Nesbitt plant nursery, which I was heading to because the Adventure Cycling map said they have cyclist only camping.

By the time I arrived I was more than fried. All I wanted was somethig to eat, perhaps a showere and a place to put my tent. Except when I got there, there was no one in sight, everything was dark and the little restaurant attached to the nursery was locked up tight.

I felt shattered and not exactly sure what to do. I called the number on the map but it was disconnected.

Should I just set up my tent go to bed?

Finally I decided to asked the people from the farm house across the street but all I got was barked at by the dogs in the fenced cage, no humans were home.

I would try one more farm a little down the road. There were trucks in the driveway and I started down the road but before I got there I was a woman riding the other way.

"I heard the nursery has cyclist camping but no one is here." I asked her. "Do you know anything about it?"

"Yes, my fiancee owns the nusery. To back and have a seat outside. We live right up the road, I will ride home and tell him to come back and open the place up for you."

Its like I always say, you never know what is going to happen on a bike trip. I was so happy and relieved to not have to quess at what to do.

About 20 minutes later Lee showed up, opened the place up for me so I could use the restrooms, introduced me to the cat who was in a cage recovering from a fight, showed me the breakroom so I could heat up mu dinner, and where I could pitch my tent.

We talked for a long time about bike touring and other bike related things until it was almost dark and i needed to set up my tent.

It was a long day with a lot of ups and downs, it all ended well.

Bridge at St Paul
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Barges that will be loaded with corn
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Sculpture made entirely of junk pulled from the river
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There were a few pretty farms later in the day
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Nesbitt Nursery. Thanks!
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Today's ride: 69 miles (111 km)
Total: 449 miles (723 km)

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